Name resolution has the task of converting domain names to their corresponding IP addresses which takes place behind the scenes and usually is not even noticed by the user. When a user inputs a domain name into an application that uses the Internet, that application will issue a command to have the operating system convert that domain name into an IP address. Then, it will connect to the IP address to perform the operation that it is trying to do. The way an operating system resolves a domain name is based upon its configuration.
For most operating systems, there is a default order for the process of name resolution. The first step includes the HOSTS file that a user can use to convert various domain names into IP addresses. The next step involves the domain name system which is the system that translates domain names to their corresponding IP addresses. Then, your operating system will connect to the DNS server on your computer, and the server will return you to the IP address for the domain name that you used. On a Windows operating system, a NETBIOS will be used to map names to addresses if all of the methods used previously failed.
On a Unix or Linux operating system, there is a similar default domain name resolution order. The operating system will first check its HOSTS file, and if it fails to find an entry, it will then query its DNS servers. One can change the order the operating system uses by changing the order line. Each operating system comes with a utility one can use to verify the DNS server settings. In Windows, it is called ipconfig which is accessed by typing ipconfig /all in the command prompt. In UNIX/LINUX however, one must type cat /etc/resolv.conf.
Lawrence Abrams. “What is Domain Name Resolution.” www.bleepingcomputer.com. Bleeping Computer. Web. 09 April 2004. 19 Jan 2017.
Meyers. M. (2015). CompTIA Network Certification Exam Guide: Exam N10-006. New York: McGraw Hill Education.